There is one fact about the health care “reform” legislation being debated in Washington, DC, that is unavoidable. The fact that it is coercive.
Governments coerce. It would be great if governmental force were used only to combat criminals, not also to tell us how to live our lives. But, alas, this is not the case.
If the proposed health care legislation is passed, it will result in new orders from the federal government that everyone must obey. Everyone: Doctors; employers; patients; taxpayers. One mandate would force you to sign up for health insurance if you currently lack it. Refuse, and you’ll pay a penalty. Unless you qualify for a “hardship exemption.”
Do we all know what this means? A Washington Post report claims that the notion of penalizing Americans who decline to sign up for health insurance “has its roots in the conservative philosophy of self-reliance.” Because, presumably, the best way to encourage self-reliance is to point a gun at people and tell them what to do “for their own good.”
This is worse than messy thinking. It is the opposite of the truth. Self-reliance is a matter of making choices. It implies the freedom to make choices. Self-reliance has nothing to do with Big Brother ordering you about as if your own thinking, values, and circumstances were irrelevant. And self-reliance has nothing to do with the current health care debate in Washington.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.